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    On nineteenth Birthday, Alcaraz Units Nadal Rematch In Madrid | ATP Tour

    Carlos Alcaraz was gifted nothing by Cameron Norrie on Thursday on the Mutua Madrid Open. However the Spaniard, taking part in in entrance of his dwelling followers on his nineteenth birthday, stored the get together going with a hard-fought 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-3 victory in Manolo Santana Stadium. 

    The win units up an all-Spanish quarter-final showdown towards Rafael Nadal and lifts Alcaraz to No. 7 within the Pepperstone ATP Reside Rankings. He’ll rise to No. 6 on Friday if he beats Nadal and Andrey Rublev falls to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

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    The ninth-seeded Norrie fought him shut all through, breaking serve as soon as in every of the primary two units and creating 4 break possibilities within the third, however was by no means capable of edge in entrance within the match rating.

    Following the victory, the birthday boy was serenaded by the Spanish crowd on centre court docket and loved a particular presentation full with a birthday cake and sparklers. However his favorite current should be the one he earned himself — that assembly with Nadal on Friday.

    “I misplaced twice towards him and I wished to play towards him the third time,” Alcaraz mentioned of the marquee matchup. “I feel it’ll be totally different from final 12 months [in Madrid] and the final match that we performed [in Indian Wells]. I am excited to play towards Rafa right here in Madrid in entrance of the Spanish crowd. It will be an awesome day and an awesome match.”

    Requested how he can earn his first ATP Head2Head win towards his countryman, a respectful Alcaraz exuded a quiet confidence: “Actually, I do not know. I all the time say that he has 1,000 lives. He dies and he survives, in each robust match for him,” Alcaraz mentioned after watching Nadal save 4 match factors to advance to the quarter-finals. “I feel if I play a fairly good recreation, I am going to have possibilities to win.”

    Alcaraz was at No. 120 within the Pepperstone ATP Rankings when he met Nadal for the primary time one 12 months in the past, however enters their newest matchup as the latest member of the Prime 10 and as a Masters 1000 champion with a 25-3 tour-level document on the season.

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    In his third-round match towards Norrie, a pair of breaks ended the opening set as Alcaraz broke again instantly after failing to serve out the stanza. Norrie received the primary break in set two, however couldn’t consolidate. As a substitute, he compelled a decider by profitable 5 of the final six factors to take the tie-break by a single mini-break.

    Once more, Alcaraz produced a robust response by breaking serve to open the third, utilizing a sensational stab volley to deliver up triple break level. 

    Norrie threatened to degree as soon as once more with Alcaraz serving at 3-2, however the Spaniard took a serious step in the direction of victory by profitable 5 straight factors to flee 0/40. Alcaraz additionally saved a break level in his prior service recreation, and later fought by 30-all at 4-3. He averted the stress of serving out the competition by securing his fifth break to shut out the match. 

    “It has been a very robust match, a tricky opponent,” Alcaraz assessed. “I knew that I needed to play actually good. I am actually proud of the efficiency immediately and really focussed on the subsequent spherical.”

    Alcaraz will likely be competing in his third ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final, having denied Norrie his third look on the identical stage. All three of these runs for the Spaniard have are available 2022 (Indian Wells semi-finals, Miami title).

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